As Spencer Martin enters the season preparing to compete for the starting goaltender position of the San Antonio Rampage, he attended the Avalanche rookie camp on Friday morning confident in his level of fitness.
“This year I really focused on the off-ice part of the game,” Martin said after the second skating session of the day. “Of course, I was on the ice a bunch of times a week, but I really focused on getting as fit as possible.”
Martin says it wasn’t only his work ethic and drive to move up in the depth chart that made him focus on his conditioning this summer, but it was also done under the direction of the Colorado Avalanche.
“They made sure that I knew that it was something I needed to work on and I really did,” Martin said. “My strength right now is my work ethic and I want to move up as fast as I can.”
Having spent last season jumping back and forth between the ECHL and AHL, he is ready to maintain a secure spot in San Antonio, where he posted impressive numbers last season with a .921 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average in 18 games played.
The organization is pushing Spencer Martin to be at the top of his physical capabilities because a 6-foot-3 goalie that focuses on his fitness is the envy of any NHL team. However, there has been no communication between Martin and the organization as to where he should expect to land among goaltenders within the organizational depth chart.
“We haven’t discussed anything like that,” Martin stated. “As far as I’m concerned I just want to control what I can control and earn everything I get whether that’s starting in San Antonio or wherever I am.”
Martin then, once again, reaffirmed his hard working attitude for the season:
“I’m just going to work and try to be the best that I can be, wherever that is.”
After having surgery to repair his ACL in January of 2015, Martin bounced back and played the entire 2015-16 season, proving that he has fully recovered. The 21-year-old third-round pick in 2013 insists that his knee is still feeling strong saying, “It’s been 100% for a while and everything with it has been really positive.”
Spencer Martin truly seems to love the opportunity he has been given and plans to not take it for granted. He enjoys the hard work that comes with the job and even doesn’t seem to mind the fact that the forwards at rookie camp seemingly spent half of the day hitting him in the head with pucks.
“They are making it easy. It’s easy to track the puck when it’s hitting you right in the melon.”
Spencer Martin will be competing with Jeremy Smith for the starting role in San Antonio. Smith is a 27-year-old who has spent the last seven seasons in the AHL, most recently for the Providence Bruins.
The battle between Martin and Smith will certainly be a treat for Avs fans to keep an eye on throughout camp and as the regular season unfolds as it is uncertain which goaltender has the upper hand at this point. The only thing certain is that Spencer Martin has arrived at rookie camp both mentally and physically ready to compete and is determined to continue his progress as a professional goaltender.